Friday, October 14, 2011

Thoughts on the Road

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19

"Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well." Thessalonians 2:8
I have been a bit discouraged of late. I so long to see people catch the vision and reality that we were born to serve the Lord and to connect people to Him. I long to see people saved and lining up to come to church, serve their neighbors, and love those around them. I am so spoiled. I get to serve God in the best possible place and work for the best possible people. I am of all people most blessed and so much of the time I am so caught up in my "life" that I fail to appreciate it. Today as I was in the car I felt suddenly moved to turn the radio off and concentrate on praying for everyone who came to mind. And it hit me as it so often does when I quiet the Cyndi and listen to God that I need to much more constantly and with much more urgency than I have been. I have felt the urgency of late, felt the deep longing for others to see the God I love and serve, but I have still been living life in the normal. I can't do  the same things all of the time and expect different results. I have to get more serious, allow the Holy Spirit more access to my schedule, allow myself to be moved, and be open to any change. I have allowed myself to think small; I have not believed that God will make a way in this wasteland of life. I often believe I have given my life but there is so much of my "life" that I cling to and keep. I have allowed myself to believe in being "good enough" when God wants greater. I so long for all of you to know that God is the most important relationship in your life and that His work is the greatest work that You will ever do. I hope this urgency grows in me. I hope it is not some passing moment. I do not want to be content to live my life as I always have but to love more, give more,  serve more, and grow more in Him. I want to live my life every day expecting that people are going to come to Christ, what I do will make a difference, and that God never stops saving and growing His people.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Twitter Venting

There is so much I miss about my husband that if I would have been asked to make a list would not have come to mind. Besides strong hugs (if I hug you a little too hard when I see you please don't run away!), I miss venting. I miss how Bill listened to me, all those little things that nobody else (trust me) wants to hear. There are many things that I just don't want to talk to my kids about (half the time I am venting about them). I know I can tell God (and I do) but I miss the human interaction. I tried twittering my frustrations but that has its problems. I thought it was safe since most people I know don't twitter, but my boss does and since I am mostly either frustrated about my kids or it is work related (I have very little life), that didn't work very well. And it didn't have that human interaction thing going very well either. I knew Facebook would not work. I mean, most of what I vent is just that, venting. It is usually my problem or isn't meant to be public. I mean, when Bill came home from work I would just hit him with all of the stuff that went on in the day and all of the stuff that was bugging me or I was struggling with. All those things nobody wants to hear. But he would listen. It used to bug me that he had no answers. But he listened. And I listened to him. And I miss that. I tell God everything and I know He loves me and He listens. But today I thanked Him for a husband who listened to me vent. If you have someone who listens to you when you are upset or struggling or have just had a bad day tell them thank you. I wish I had.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meditations and Thoughts

On Monday, while I was praying before leaving for the day, I thought of the verse from Psalm 19, verse 14 , "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable Oh Lord." I thought God was reminding me to be careful when I speak, something which I am trying to learn but still need to work on, so I put it into my prayer. God often uses speaking His Word aloud to get my attention. This time, as I spoke those words I realized it was the second part that God wanted to speak into my life. You see, I often let my heart and mind dwell on past hurts and offenses, frustrations, trials that I am going through, and other negativity. As I spoke the words aloud they hit me like a ton of bricks and they have been my meditation all week. You see, I don't think I move forward very well or grow as I should when I am negative. I don't think it much matters how much I read my Bible or pray or fast or do great works if my mind dwells on the past and on the negative. As God often does I have been tested in my resolve to put this Word into practice. The negatives of life have attacked and I have been sorely tempted to sink into them but I will not. I will not. When I feel myself slipping I repent and pray about whatever is causing me to want to sink. I picture God being powerful in situations that I feel are hopeless. I believe that He is changing lives that I feel will never change. There is a power in our thoughts that I have been guilty of minimizing. Our thoughts can  strengthen our image our relationship with and our image of or they can diminish them. It is our choice what we dwell on. Let us choose that which is acceptable to God and life-giving to us.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Random Thoughts

Sometimes my mind runs so fast and with so many subjects that it is hard to focus on just one. This post is just a mental download of thoughts that have been streaming through my head of late. They reflect my recent experiences and are a picture of what God does with all the stuff that happens with us each week. What has been running through your mind? These are some of the things that have been running through mine.
·       I love my girls, each one, ones that are mine by birth and the ones God gave me as gifts. I struggle in my prayers for them, knowing that if they do not seek God alone they will be enormously disappointed by life but so wanting them to skip pain and struggle and heartache. I want them to get what God wants them to get without having to go through the lessons. Not possible, I know.

·       Lately I have been wondering where the good in certain things are. God promises us that good will come out of all the stuff we have gone through if we are His and I have been pondering that. Some things don’t seem as though they can contain good or bring it.

·       Sushi is so much more than raw fish. I liked it and am already trying to figure out how I can get out for some more. Not something my girls will be into that is for certain.

·       I read today that 70% of pastors constantly fight depression. 50% are so discouraged they want to leave the ministry. 80% believe that ministry negatively affects their family. I pray multiple times daily for the pastor’s at my church. As you pray for your pastor, make sure you are in the battle with him and that you are for him.

·       Housework has taken last place on my to-do list for awhile. So glad my girls have taken up the slack.

·       Why is it that the change of seasons makes me feel like I need to buy new clothes? Or preferably a new purse?

·       Speaking of the change of seasons, I am dreading having to build fires in the woodstove. I was never good at it.

·       I want so much to do what God wants and every day I start out thinking that today I will get it right; my flesh will not creep in, I won’t eat too much, criticize, call myself names, feel sorry for myself…and then…oh well – the righteous fail and get right back up and so will I.

·       I will never ever not need God’s mercy.

·       Even when I get it right my motives are often self-seeking and prideful. Which shows me how seldom I get anything completely right. God has to use my imperfect offerings because I so seldom offer Him anything else.

·       Inspiration comes from the most unusual places. I got lost in a mall (I know that sounds crazy) this week and it has inspired me to see the lost in a whole new way. I have been praying more and asking God how I can better represent Him. Almost everyone you see is lost. Being lost is scary. Jesus came to seek and save the lost and his chosen vehicle is me. Have known that but seeing it more clearly.

·       Want to love more and love better. Especially at home. Especially at church. Especially the ones that are hard to love. Especially when I am with unbelievers.